John Keble ( )


Second Sunday in Advent



    And when these things begin to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth night.  St. Luke xxi. 28.

Not till the freezing blast is still,
Till freely leaps the sparkling rill,
And gales sweep soft from summer skies,
As oer a sleeping infants eyes
A mothers kiss; ere calls like these,
No sunny gleam awakes the trees,
Nor dare the tender flowerets show
Their bosoms to th uncertain glow.

Why then, in sad and wintry time,
Her heavens all dark with doubt and crime,
Why lifts the Church her drooping head,
As though her evil hour were fled?
Is she less wise than leaves of spring,
Or birds that cower with folded wing?
What sees she in this lowering sky
To tempt her meditative eye?

She has a charm, a word of fire,
A pledge of love that cannot tire;
By tempests, earthquakes, and by wars,
By rushing waves and falling stars,
By every sign her Lord foretold,
She sees the world is waxing old,
And through that last and direst storm
Descries by faith her Saviours form.

Not surer does each tender gem,
Set in the fig-trees polishd stem,
Foreshow the summer season bland,
Than these dread signs Thy mighty hand:
But, oh, frail hearts, and spirits dark!
The seasons flight unwarnd we mark,
But miss the Judge behind the door,
For all the light of sacred lore:

Yet is He there; beneath our eaves
Each sound His wakeful ear receives:
Hush, idle words, and thoughts of ill,
Your Lord is listening: peace, be still.
Christ watches by a Christians hearth,
Be silent, vain deluding mirth,
Till in thine alterd voice be known
Somewhat of Resignations tone.

But chiefly ye should lift your gaze
Above the worlds uncertain haze,
And look with calm unwavering eye
On the bright fields beyond the sky,
Ye, who your Lords commission bear
His way of mercy to prepare:
Angels He calls ye: be your strife
To lead on earth an Angels life.

Think not of rest; though dreams be sweet,
Start up, and ply your heavenward feet.
Is not Gods oath upon your head,
Neer to sink back on slothful bed,
Never again your loans untie,
Nor let your torches waste and die,
Till, when the shadows thickest fall,
Ye hear your Masters midnight call?



John Keble's other poems:
  1. First Sunday after Christmas
  2. First Sunday after Epiphany
  3. St. Johns Day
  4. Second Sunday after Christmas
  5. Fourth Sunday in Advent


 . Poem to print (Print)

: 1124



To English version


@Mail.ru

. eng-poetry.ru@yandex.ru